Designer label Burberry was rescued from the dusty discount bin in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and transformed back into a major fashion brand, before being successfully spun off by owners GUS plc as a separate quoted company. Rose Marie Bravo, the CEO who masterminded Burberry's resurrection and quadrupled its sales, stepped down in 2006, but Burberry retained its momentum under chief creative officer Christopher Bailey, eventually elevated to CEO. However, performance began to slow in 2017, prompting Bailey's departure the following year, along with several other senior managers. Marco Gobbetti is now CEO, with Riccardo Tisci as chief creative officer. Though both its principals are now Italian, Burberry remains one of the very few distinctively British designer fashion labels, first established in the late 19th century. But the company is wholly dependent on its main brand. How long can it remain independent in an environment now dominated by multi-brand luxury groups? Rumours of acquisition surface periodically though so far none has materialised for real. The brand is sold primarily through its own retail network of around 430 stores and concessions, as well as a small number of franchisees. However, several key standalone outlets have been divested in the past couple of years, including the former flagship Scotch House store in London's Knightsbridge. Until 2017, the group managed its fragrance and beauty operations inhouse. It sold the business that year to Coty who now control Burberry beauty under license. The Burberry fashion brand accounts for the vast majority of revenues, which reached a record high of almost £2.8bn in 2017, before slipping back. The figure for ye 2019 was flat at £2.7bn, partly as a result of the transfer of the beauty business. Net profit rose 15% to £339m. Apparel accounts for slightly more than half of total revenues.
Capsule checked 7th May 2019
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Historical profile information for Burberry
Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd Nov 2017: Christopher Bailey announced plans to resign as chief creative officer of Burberry in March next year, though he will stay with the group until the end of 2018 to assist with transition to a new lead designer. Bailey surrendered the role of CEO earlier this year to new recruit Marco Gobbetti.
Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Apr 2017: Cosmetics juggernaut Coty also added to its collection, acquiring rights to Burberry's fragrance and beauty portfolio. The British fashion group has been producing these products inhouse since it bought them back from InterParfums four years ago. Coty will pay £50m for Burberry beauty's inventory and assets, plus a global license fee of £130m. The business generated revenues of just over £200m last year.
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Dec 2016: UK luxury brand Burberry has rejected a succession of takeover offers from its US rival Coach, which is seeking to evolve into a multi-brand group. No details have been disclosed of the offers, but it's reported that talks have ended and are unlikely to resume. Burberry's current market value is a little over £6bn while Coach is trading around $10bn.
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Nov 2016: Ads of the Week: "The Tale of Thomas Burberry". Fashion group Burberry has really pushed out the boat for this lavish film telling an emotionally heightened version of the life of founder Thomas Burberry. We're certain the real TB's life wasn't quite as "Downton Abbey" as this trailer-style treat, but frankly who cares when the results are as handsome or as star-packed as this. Suspend your disbelief for 3 minutes. Fine work from director Asif Kapadia, better known for documentaries (Amy, Senna) not period drama. And boy is there plenty of drama here. Faintly ridiculous of course, but compelling nonetheless.
Adbrands Weekly Update 14th Jul 2016: Burberry chief Christopher Bailey will relinquish the role of CEO to Marco Gobbetti, who is set to join the British fashion company from French rival Celine, owned by LVMH, though not until some time next year. Bailey will remain chief creative officer, but will side-step into a new role as group president, working alongside Gobbetti. As financial performance has waned over the past year, Burberry has come under growing pressure from investors over Bailey's unusual split role straddling both the creative and commercial sides of the business. The group also announced the appointment of a new CFO, Julie Brown, to replace longserving incumbent Carol Fairweather. As a result of poor performance last year, none of Burberry's existing management team is to receive a bonus.
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